Work for Integration With Local Leaders. How can parish leaders work with local leaders to help with the integration of migrating people into their communities? The Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC) offers suggestions. https://cliniclegal.org/resources/promoting-immigrant-integration- ideas-working-together-your-local-officials
Refugee Travel Ban. The Trump administration travel ban has again been prohibited by the courts. Catholic leaders speak in support of refugees. https://cliniclegal.org/resources/network-nonprofit-immigration-legal-services- lauds-court-stays-travel-ban-and-refugee
Georgia Legislation. There are two bills moving through the Georgia General Assembly that have a likelihood of passage and could adversely affect immigrants, both documented and undocumented. The Georgia Catholic Conference opposes both bills.
HB 37 would bar state funding to private post-secondary institutions which declare themselves “sanctuary campuses.”
HB 452 would require the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to create and maintain a public website with the names of all aliens, i.e. non-citizens, who have been released from federal custody in Georgia.
ICYMI – Seek Qualified Assistance. In this time of uncertainty for many immigrants and refugees, many seek help with legal issues. It is essential that everyone use only qualified attorneys or legal service providers. CLINIC offers resources to avoid unqualified individuals who prey on those in need. https://cliniclegal.org/notario. In particular, check out five tips for avoiding scams. https://cliniclegal.org/sites/default/files/resources/unauthorizedpractice/5-Ways-to- Avoid-Immigration-Scams.pdf If you know someone who may be the victim of immigration fraud, here is a way to file a complaint. https://cliniclegal.org/resources/how-and-where-file-immigration-scam-complaint
For Profit Detention Centers. The U.S. Department of Justice is now formally considering eliminating its current practice of managing immigration detention centers with for-profit corporations. There have multiple problems with for –profit corporations running prisons and detention centers and this action by the Administration is a step in the right direction toward more humane treatment of our brothers and sisters who are detainees. Private prison companies operate about 73 immigration detention centers in the U.S. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/obama-immigrant-detention_us_57c474fee4b0cdfc5ac87b51?5lm5fg2wxte53ik9%3Futm_hp_ref=latino-voices&ir=Latino%2BVoices§ion=latino-voices&.
Who Has Been Placed in Charge of the Roman Dicastery Responsible for Migration? Pope Francis has created a new dicastery (Roman Curia office) for Promoting Integral Human Development, including an office for migrants. Who did Pope Francis place in charge of that office? In a highly unusual action, he appointed himself to that office! Thus the Holy Father has emphasized how important he sees care of migrants in promoting human dignity, the basis for Catholic social teaching http://ht.ly/fwNr303NmBQ.
Immigrants Contribute to the Society They Join. Recalling the words of Pope Francis during his apostolic journey to the United States, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles emphasized the gifts of immigrants to the United States in a speech to the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders annual conference held Aug. 18-21 in Chicago http://occatholic.com/nation-world-need-gifts-latinos-have-to-offer-says-archbishop-gomez/
State Legislation Update. Interested in what is currently happening in State legislatures related to immigration? Join a free CLINIC webinar that will bring you up to date: https://cliniclegal.org/calendar/mid-year-review-2016-state-immigration-legislation-and-advocacy-strategies
Number 100! This is the one hundredth Comprehensive Immigration Update which we started to keep priests, deacons, sisters, brothers and others up to date with accurate information about the progress of immigration reform. Unfortunately, the pace of progress has not been nearly as fast as we hoped 100 editions ago. Nonetheless, we continue in hope and report on the Church’s advocacy efforts in Georgia and in Washington.
How to Help … and Maybe Learn Something Yourself. The United States Immigration Service (USCIS) provides educational materials for immigrants seeking citizenship. Here is link to a new USCIS publication on teaching about the Constitution. http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Office%20of%20Citizenship/Citizenship%20Resource%20Center%20Site/Publications/Lesson%20Plans/Intermediate_US_Constitution_lesson_plan.pdf Share it with someone who wants to learn and prepare for citizenship.
Appeals Are Important. In the United States, we treasure our right to pursue legal remedies through every level of appeal. A decision is not final until appeals are exhausted. Yet, there have been instances of deportations before appeals are concluded and when the person deported must return to a country where his or her life is in danger, appeals are vital. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/a-stay-on-deportations/2015/08/02/858c6e30-37cc-11e5-9d0f-7865a67390ee_story.html
Detention Centers Remain the news. A federal district court in California has ruled that the Administration’s operation of immigration detention centers for women and children violates a court settlement and that many of the women and children should be released. Yet legal wrangling continues as the government continues appeals so that it can keep the detention centers open. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/05/opinion/a-judges-rebuke-of-immigration-detention.html?smid=tw-share
ICYMI – What Can We Do? How can we help? For both immigration legalization purposes and for a more productive life in the United States, the ability to speak English is essential. How can you get an English training program started? CLINIC is offering a seminar aimed at giving the tools and confidence to start a program. https://cliniclegal.org/calendar/training-teachers-tricks-tools-and-strategies-volunteer-based-language-learning-programs
Late Friday afternoon, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Pro-Life Secretariat issued a press release regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the contraceptive and sterilization mandate. As you may recall, the HHS mandate was to go into effect on August 1, 2013. According to Friday’s press release, the date has now been moved to January 1, 2014 for some non-profit entities.
According to Cardinal Dolan, President of the USCCB, they have not completed their analysis of the ruling, but do appreciate the additional time that has been granted. Please see the enclosed press release for complete details.
Please note that any comments you may receive from news outlets or outside organizations may not reflect the position of the U.S. bishops or the Archdiocese of Atlanta. We will send further updates as they become available.
Also, many thanks for the great work for the Fortnight for Freedom, which concludes on July 4. In light of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on marriage, and other religious liberty concerns, we are asked to continue to encourage the religious movement for Life, Marriage and Religious Liberty. For more details, please go to: http://www.archatl.com/clife/fortnight/
Click below to read the letters sent by Archbishop Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Atlanta, Bishop Gregory Hartmayer, bishop of Savannah, and Bishops Luis R. Zarama and David P. Talley, auxiliary bishops of Atlanta. Continue reading